Commune and town
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Andéramboukane (var. Andéramboucane) is a small town and one of five Rural Communes in the Ménaka Cercle and Gao Region of Mali. It lies at the extreme east of the nation, several kilometers north of the Nigerien border. Andéramboukane is a rural, isolated, and largely desert area, crisscrossed by seasonal wadis, part of an ancient dry river system of the Azaouad region (the Iullemmeden Basin). The area is just south of the rocky outcrops of the Ader Douchi hills, and north of the Sahel scrubland which begins in Niger. Most of the small population are nomadic are Tuareg tribal populations, as well as nomadic minorities, including the Wodaabe Fula. The sedentary population is largely low caste Tuareg community. The town is a seasonal gathering point for the Kel Dinnik Tuareg confederation, who travel from the desert Azaouad in the rainy season and the Niger river valley in the dry season. Since the 1990s, the town has hosted a formalised version of the traditional fairs that take place at beginning of the southward transumance cycle. This festival, named Tamadacht, has become a showcase of traditional and contemporary Tuareg and Wodaabe music, dance, sport, performance, and arts.
The area around Andéramboukane has a reputation for lawlessness. Since the 1990s, there have been conflicts between Nigerien Fula and Malian Taureg cattle herders in the area, and theft of animals is a regular occurrence. As well, the vast empty border region is used as a route to smuggle drugs, alcohol, weapons and illegal migrants from tropical Africa to the Mediterranean.
Andéramboukane was a center of Ag El Insar Firhoun's Malian rising in the larger 1916 Tuareg Rebellion, after Firhoun's rebels fled the French colonial forces from their homes near Goundam in the Timbuktu area. The region was controlled by rebel forces during the 1961–1964, 1990–1995, and the 2007–present Tuareg Rebellions.
On 22 January, four foreign tourists were reported kidnapped in Ménaka Cercle, while traveling by auto from a festival at Anderamboukané on the main road to Ménaka, and on to Gao. One Briton, one German, and two Swiss citizens were reportedly kidnapped. One of their vehicles escaped the attack, and one which was seized was later found abandoned across the border near Bani-Bangou, Niger.
- Imperato, Pascal James (1986). Historical Dictionary of Mali. Metuchen NJ - London: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810813696.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css has no content.:pp. 85, 144-145, 193
- Une zone désertique et dangereuse. RSR Swiss news. 23 January 2009.
- Tourists 'kidnapped in Niger'. January 22 2009. AFP.
- Mali - Niger. Des touristes européens enlevés au Niger. January 22 2009. Afrik
- European tourists seized in Niger. 23 January 2009. Al Jazeera.
- Mali says Tuareg rebels abduct group of tourists. Thu Jan 22, 2009. Reuters.
- Al-Qaeda 'kills British hostage'